Blind Programmers and Users

In the current era of GUI based Operating Systems, Developer Tools and Software, life has never been tougher for a Blind computer User and the Blind Computer Programmer.

This issue has been very dear to me, from the time when I had attempted developing a mail and telephony based address book application in VB using the Speech API to enable Blind Users use it. Trust me, it is one of the toughest things to do, the Interface ease of use is of the utmost importance!

While developing software or websites, we might be very well ignoring a section of people who are not able to use the tools because of interface issues. This might be a good research area for people working in the area of Human Computer Interface, its more important to make a easy to user interface than having an application with all sleek toolbars not accesible to such target users.

One of the few interesting articles from CNN, dating back to 1998, raised concerns about popularity of GUIs making life difficult for Blind Programmers. While on the other end, I could also witness a series of Windows Tools/Guides to help Blind Programmers gain skills on VBScripting, Javascript and so on.

One of the exceptional people in this area would be Jim Homme, who maintains the blindprogramming.com website, he is an employee of Bender Consulting, and is one of the many employees of Bender Consulting who beat their physical challenges to excel in Software services.

Coming back to the main issue, are we doing enough to enable them use the software we make? Are our websites disable friendly? Analyse your webpages today for accessibility by checking them here (this blog failed on multiple counts!) : http://webxact.watchfire.com/

To learn more about making a more Accesible web, check out http://www.accessible.org/

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Blind Programmers and Users

  1. The points raised are pretty good and relevant, but then things are not easy for blind programmers even on the low level of keyboards!
    As far as UI is concerned, what about TTS softwares? I would want to know if more efficient TTS is being developed with more language options.
    But truly good point.

  2. very interesting topic you post here. i’m curious to know how do programmers who are blind debug their codings? it’ll be interesting to see how many web2.0 websites are accessible as many are mainly visually driven by the user… social networking websites as myspace, facebook, are keep ppl with visual disabilities in the know with their peers…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s